07 November 2019

Self-harm: Prevalence estimates from the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

This research used data from the Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing to investigate the lifetime and 12-month prevalence of self-harm without suicide intent in young people aged 12–17 years, to describe the co-morbidity of these behaviours with mental illness and to describe their co-variation with key social and demographic variables. Eighteen percent of all 12- to 17-year-old young people with any mental health disorder said that they had engaged in self-harm in the past 12 months. Among young people who met the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder almost half had engaged in self-harm in the past 12 months. Suicide risk among those who self-harm is significantly elevated relative to the general population.